Indian Democracy

GS 2 – POLITY :Indian Constitution- Features


      Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation.

      The two types of democracy are direct and representative. 

  • Direct democracy, the people directly deliberate and decide on legislation. 
  • Representative democracy, the people elect representatives to deliberate and decide on legislation. (parliamentary or presidential democracy)

The United Nations has declared September 15 as ‘International Day of Democracy’.

  • It has a provision which says that it reviews the state of democracy in the world. 
  • This calls for an opportunity to review the state of democracy in India.

Indian democracy:

There are two ways in which the state of democracy in a country can to be assessed. They are:

  • Procedural state.
  • The state of outcome because of democracy.

Procedural State

  • There are multiparty elections with universal suffrage subjected only to age restriction.
  • There is smooth changeover in government after elections.
  • There is an existence of an independent press and judiciary
  • The guarantee of civil liberties justiciable in courts of law.


  • Responsiveness of the government to the needs of people.
    • UN’s World Happiness Report for 2020(By United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network)
      • US on top 20
      • India-144 (among 153)
  • indicates that the governments have not been capable enough to satisfy the wishes of people living under it.
  • According to Amartya Sen
    • capabilities are the endowments that allow individuals to 
      • undertake the functionings
      • do the things that they value.
  • Human Development Index 2019(By United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
    • Measures-
      • long and healthy life
      • being knowledgeable
      • having a decent standard of living
      • life expectancy at birth
      • the education
      • gross national income per capita.
    • India-129(among 189)
      • Indian democracy is severely challenged.
  • Though democracy may be a form of government but surely the people have come to adopt this particular form of government with a goal in mind-a fulfilling life.
  • Authoritarianism is not compatible with such a life, only democracy, which at least in principle grants individuals a voice in governance.
  • People adopt democracy so that they can participate in their own governance.
  • Liberty and capability are conjoined as the ultimate aspiration in a democracy.
  • Nehru’s speech on August 15, 1947stated that “the goal of independence was to create institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.”
    • He had not promised that the government would create these institutions.
    • He was far too aware that democracy is not synonymous with statism; it is about the people.

In the current times of COVID-19

  • Severe underfunding in a public health system over the years has left the country severely unprepared for the emergency.
  • Reports of bodies lying in the wards and shortages of basic oxygen which is absolutely necessary for COVID-19 treatment.
  • The state neglected its responsibility has resorted to repression when its inaction is questioned.
    • Recently, an agency reported-a representative of the Andhra Pradesh threatened to arrest a government doctor who had dared to mention at a review meeting that there were not enough beds in the primary health centre that he was responsible for.


        This calls us to question whether we are far from dystopia meaning a place where the people experience great suffering as they fend for themselves under the watchful eyes of an authoritarian state.

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